Thursday, 25 May 2017

Lorry (Truck) Drivers

I was just talking to a lorry driver who goes between Picton and Christchurch, NZ. That is nearly 350 kms (just over 200 miles). North Island drivers deliver their load to the ferry in Wellington, it crosses the strait and another driver takes it south. In this way the driver stays on his home island and time isn't wasted on a ferry.

If you have ever driven in New Zealand you will know the country isn't connected by motorways, but everyday roads, often quite twisty. As the road south from Picton approaches Kaikoura, there are some narrow tunnels. For a large lorry to enter them, they have a to take a wide berth to enter the tunnel straight. There are signs saying 'No Overtaking' the truck as he attempts this manoeuvre. The driver was telling me that cars still do and he has to watch out and often brake to avoid squashing them against a wall.

He also said the the truck speed is monitored in various ways and for example, if they enter a 50kmph (30mph) zone, from a higher speed, the lorry has to be doing the 50 when they reach the sign. If he doesn't do that then he incurs demerit points as it will be detected. Many car drivers flash their lights and honk their horns in anger at the truck driver for slowing too soon, in their opinion.

In behalf of these fine professional drivers, I would like to say something. If you are the sort to try to overtake large vehicles without due care, do you want to be scrapped off a wall or road by emergency services? If you honk and flash your lights because the vehicle in front slows to the speed limit as it is entering a town, who do you think you are? For such drivers, the sooner self-drive cars come the better, because you are not wanted on the road driving yourself. You should be driven by Google. Why? Because a mindless machine could drive so much better than your egotistical efforts.

They know what they are doing. Do you?
For all others (and I assume you are the majority), well done for your patience and your understanding that professional drivers go as fast as they can safely. You realise that getting to your destination relaxed and safe is more important than a few minutes saved. Also a big thank you to the lorry drivers for the quality of your work and for putting up with poor car drivers and still being so obliging to other road users.

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